Umm . . . hi. It’s been awhile.
In case you’ve forgotten, my name’s Jeff Miller. No one calls me that anymore, of course. What they call me is Brianna. That’s what my . . . parents, call me, and most of the teachers too, and kids who don’t really know me. Miss Carter; that’s what the teachers call me when they’re angry, and even then mostly only Ms Tanaka. Friends call me Bree. Or just ‘B’—that’s what the girls on the team call me. A couple of closer friends call me Asha, because that’s what predictive text spit out one night at the slumber party over at Chloe’s, after we typed in the first four letters of Brianna.
Colin calls me ‘bitch’. He’s got some other guys doing it too—but within earshot, not if those pricks know what’s good for them.
But I’m not Brianna or Bree or any of those things. I’m Jeff Miller. I’m not sixteen. I’m not a high school student or a cheerleader or a sub on the soccer team. I’m not a good little daughter. I’m not a teen princess. I’m not even a girl.
Somehow I forgot that. I stopped looking in the mirror and repeating it to myself, stopped staring into these blue eyes that looked nothing like mine and reminding myself who I really was. Everything around me, this bedroom with its pink sheets, Moo the stuffed bear lying on the pillow, the girl-smell in the air, the flimsy clothes waiting in the closet and in my drawers . . . the people around me, Linda the loon downstairs who thinks she’s my mother, friends, school . . . everything, every fucking thing around me insists that I’m Brianna and I’m not, I’m not, I’m
This must be what it feels like to be crazy. When you know something to be true, when you believe with absolute conviction something that your every sense contradicts; when you look in the mirror and see a stranger—that must be what it feels like to be crazy.
I went crazy for a little bit. That’s where I’ve been these last three months: in crazy-la-la-land. Only I didn’t know it. It wasn’t a bad crazy or anything. In fact, the people around me seemed to think I was doing better than ever, like I was finally coming out from under some dark cloud hovering over me since summer. What they couldn’t see was that I was further under its cover than ever before and that it was dark, so very dark where I was. One or two people picked up that something was wrong—Jo, maybe Mel—but they didn’t do anything, they couldn’t.
And when I say I went crazy . . . well, I guess what I mean is that I went Bree. It started right after—or let’s be honest, during—my date with Colin, which is where I left this blog. The less said about that date the better. He’s a fucking prick. If any guy had tried on sis what that little shit tried on me, he’d have found the entire football team waiting for him behind the school one afternoon, and I would’ve been the one to pound the lesson into him. But whatever. That shit’s in the past.
After got grounded for going on that date for two weeks, and they took this computer away, and you’d be amazed how hard it can be for a kid to get computer access sometimes. Can’t do it at home, Blogger’s blocked at school—and I dunno, it just didn’t seem that important after a few days, and even after I got my computer back I just fell out of the habit. What did I need a blog for?
Stupid. Because somehow, without something to remind me of the real me, I just kind of slid into Bree’s life, lost myself in it, and Jeff sort of disappeared for a bit. Looking back, there really doesn’t seem much to catch up on—it wasn’t a boring three months, it sure kept me busy, but it wasn’t exactly exciting either . . . just typical teenage kid stuff, typical teenage girl stuff. Girl stuff. Shit. Makeup and cheerleading and magazines and catty fights and long conversations on the phone and stupid boys acting weird around me . . . and Jeff didn’t belong in any of that, didn’t really get it, and I think he kind of gave up and left.
But what he left behind wasn’t really Bree, wasn’t a real girl, just kind of a hollow shell of one, I think, and so very empty inside. This girl, she did well in school and was very active in the soccer club and with the cheerleaders and hung out with her friends, and every night she cried herself to sleep and woke up more tired than when she went to bed. But she could practice her smile in the mirror before leaving her room, and a little makeup, well it covers up a lot, doesn’t it?
I think I tried to kill myself last night.
After the junior’s football game last night. First game of the year. Went out for pizza with the girls. Came home and without thinking went straight to Jack’s liquor cabinet and grabbed a bottle and when I woke up at 3 am I was covered in my own vomit and had a bottle of Linda’s Demerol clutched in my hand. I must’ve been too drunk to get the child-proof cap off.
Which is why I’m back on this blog. I need somewhere I can scream to the world ‘I am Jeff Miller!’ without getting locked away. I need to know there’s other people suffering the same way I am, who’ve lost everything, their body, their lives. Their name.
I don’t know how often I’ll be able to write here. I don’t even know when the next time will be. I’m taking off. As soon as I get cleaned up I’m jumping on a bus and getting the hell out of here.
I’m going home.